Club encourages awareness of mental disorders
April 18, 2019
Mental health is a serious epidemic on most college campuses, as this age group is very susceptible to various mental disorders, often intensified by the stresses that accompany college life.
Between 2009 and 2015, the amount of students who used counseling services surged by about 30 percent on average, according to a report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health.
In an effort to address mental health issues in the Santa Clara community, a chapter of a national organization called Active Minds was established as a new Registered Student Organization (RSO) on campus this past fall.
“Active Minds advocates for broader access for university students to services, treatment, support and research regarding mental health,” according to the mission statement, “and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all those in need.”
Active Minds seeks to increase the awareness of students and staff surrounding mental health disorders, as well as resources on campus and in the surrounding community.
In its 15th year, Active Minds has chapters throughout the country at more than 600 colleges and high schools. Their website estimates the club reaches about 600,000 students each year.
“Before Active Minds, I was part of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) at SCU,” junior Aelya Imran, a founder of Active Minds, said. “The entire leadership decided to form an Active Minds chapter to replace NAMI because Active Minds is an organization that has a stronger focus on college students.”
The weekly meetings are meant to be a safe space where students are encouraged to discuss topics surrounding mental health.
Prior meetings have discussed eating disorders, substance abuse and other various mental disorders.
The club also provides guided meditation, stress relief activities and documentary screenings on mental health issues.
Active Minds is currently the only mental health RSO and aims to lessen the stigma around mental health.
The club achieved this by offering a safe space where students can openly discuss issues as well as learn about mental health resources on and off campus.
“Active Minds on Santa Clara’s campus is a hidden gem,” a junior who wished to remain anonymous said. “On a campus where mental health is rarely discussed, Active Minds provides a refreshing environment in which anxiety, depression and much more can be discussed without judgement or discrimination.”
The club meets on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Campus Ministry’s large conference room, located in Benson Memorial Center.
Contact Sasha Todd at artodd@scu. edu or call (408) 554-4852.